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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned an alleged far-right meeting where plans to deport millions of people, including German citizens, were discussed. The secret gathering, reported by Correctiv, included senior figures from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and neo-Nazis from Germany and Austria.

The focus was on “remigration,” the removal of individuals with non-German ethnic backgrounds. Despite the AfD officially rejecting remigration, participants reportedly expressed doubts about its feasibility, with some supporting the idea for years. Chancellor Scholz emphasized that discrimination based on ethnic origins would not be tolerated in Germany, and participants may face investigation by the intelligence agency.

Correctiv investigative outlet revealed that around 20 individuals, including senior AfD members and neo-Nazis, attended a secret meeting near Berlin to discuss the deportation of people with non-German ethnic backgrounds, even if they are citizens of Germany. The meeting reportedly took place near Potsdam last November, with Correctiv noting the participation of two members of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) party. Although the AfD officially rejects remigration, internal contradictions were exposed by Gerrit Huy, an AfD member of the German Parliament, who affirmed the party’s commitment to remigration. The AfD confirmed the attendance of Roland Hartwig at the meeting but denied any shift in its migration policy.

Chancellor Scholz, responding to the report, stated that Germany would not allow differentiation based on immigrant backgrounds and that participants in the alleged meeting could face investigation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence agency. He underscored the importance of learning from history and emphasized that discrimination based on ethnic origins would not be tolerated in the country. The far-right AfD is currently the second-largest party in Germany, trailing behind the CDU, and has faced scrutiny over its stance on immigration and alleged ties to extremist groups.

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In an unprecedented turn of events in Paris this weekend, a significant demonstration took place in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, drawing representatives from major political parties. Notably, the far right, including Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella of the National Rally, participated, while the far left, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon of France Unbowed, boycotted the event, citing it as a gathering for supporters of the Gaza massacre.

This shift is symbolic, considering historical political dynamics in France. Traditionally, the far right was ostracized due to its perceived anti-Republican views, especially on Jewish issues. The far left, on the other hand, despite criticism, remained part of the broader political spectrum. However, the current scenario reflects a shake-up in the political landscape.

The contemporary far right in France, now labeled as “hard right” or “national right,” has shifted focus from past anti-Semitic stances to prioritize issues such as immigration, insecurity, and Islamism, aligning with some Jewish perspectives. Meanwhile, the far left interprets the Gaza conflict through an anti-colonial lens, emphasizing solidarity with the oppressed against perceived superpower aggression.

This unusual alignment sees a party with a history of Holocaust denial, like the National Rally, supporting French Jews openly. Conversely, a party built on human rights and equality, like France Unbowed, faces accusations of antisemitism for not condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization.

While nuances exist, the overall trend shows the National Rally under Marine Le Pen successfully integrating into the mainstream, while France Unbowed under Jean-Luc Mélenchon appears to be distancing itself. Opinion polls reinforce this, with Marine Le Pen leading in presidential election polls, while Mélenchon’s support has declined.

Serge Klarsfeld, a prominent figure in the fight against antisemitism in France, acknowledges the irony. He appreciates the far right’s departure from antisemitism, seeing it align with Republican values, yet expresses sadness over the far left’s perceived abandonment of efforts to combat antisemitism.

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